COMMUNITY LEADERS GUIDING OTHERS, BRINGING A SENSE OF HOPE DURING THESE CHALLENGING TIMES.
By Heidi Bethel
Have you spotted the inspiring #TogetherWeAreOneHeart blue bands around Reno/Tahoe? When we received a few in Virtual Wine Lock bags supporting the Riverwalk District, our four-year-old son quickly claimed them as his own and proudly sports his “super hero” bracelets nearly everywhere he goes … even to bed. As he naps with his favorite accessory, I’m reminded of the big impact Debbie McCarthy (aka “About Town Deb”) has made on the community with her #TogetherWeAreOneHeart initiative. She is a Star Navigator super hero bringing a simple statement with big impact during these unusual times.
When COVID-19 became a reality in our community, Debbie knew she had to do something to make an impact. A social person at her core, she missed bringing a positive vibe to the public and wanted a way to provide a supportive smile from behind the mask. Partnering with folks from Design on Edge and Rounds Bakery, she developed #TogetherWeAreOneHeart. They went on to gift blue bracelets and chocolate chip cookies to over 80 local businesses.
“Emotionally, this has uplifted those who’ve received a bracelet and people are recognizing them on the street,” Debbie explains. “It’s a way to say we care, don’t give up and have grace with yourself. We’re going to get through this.”
Since Debbie started #TogetherWeAreOneHeart, she’s received many requests from companies wanting to gift the bands to their employees and others.
“Specifically, I got a call from a manager from a local grocery store who wanted something special to give her employees. A lot of people were not really pleasant and disgraceful to the workers,” Debbie notes. “The manager felt the message would resonate with her staff. She wanted them to know they were in this together and the bands represented that concept … we’re together, as a team, as a staff, as a world. That totally blew me away.”
She wanted them to know they were in this together and the bands represented that concept … we’re together, as a team, as a staff, as a world. That totally blew me away.”
Debbie plans to continue this initiative even after the COVID-19 pandemic is behind us. Folks can help by purchasing bands to gift themselves, or for every $2 donation they’ll donate a bracelet on your behalf to an essential worker. For a $5 donation, they’ll stick one in the mail for you, too. She encourages the community to visit abouttowndeb.com/together-we-are-one to find out more and make a donation.
This just in … Debbie let us know that she has some exciting co-branding coming up with About Town Deb’s #TogetherWeAreOneHeart, Tahoe Heartbeat and Crystal Basin Cellars Winery. So, stay tuned. She adds, “I want to thank Parker Alexander and he beautiful wife, Ali Clarke, and Mike and Melissa Owen with Crystal Basin. Let us all continue to connect and band together as we walk this new journey one heart beat at a time.”